On the very first day of PokerStars’ launch in New Jersey, it appears they have already vaulted over its competitors.
On Monday morning the site went fully live, after a period of a soft-launch, when the traffic was limited at 500 players a day.
But since last Monday things changed. According to Flushdraw.net there were around 400 players by late morning on Monday on the site.
That number expanded to 1,000 by late afternoon, across all tables, cash games as well as tournaments.
According to Harley Hintze there were still 900 real-money players competing with one another like good old times as midnight approached.
PokerStars’ Impact on the Market
At the moment it’s difficult to compare PokerStars’ New Jersey real money traffic with the traffic of competitors’ sites. According to PokerScout, the ring-game traffic had a peak of 403 players and that is higher than Party Borgata (228 players) and WSOP-888 (369 players).
On PokerScout, poker sites are ranked based on a seven-day average, so according to this criterion WSOP-888 is ranked number one, with an average of 170 players. PokerStars is in second place with 120 players and Party-Borgata is in third place with 110 players.
However PokerStars is expected to surpass WSOP-888 soon, since during the soft-launch phase Pokertars had a 500-players limit and was not available the entire day.
Last year the CEO of 888, Brian Mattingley, said he would welcome PokerStars to New Jersey, but he was aware of the impact the online poker giant would have on the market, he said it would be like “unleashing an 800-pound gorilla into the market.”
In an interview to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mattingley said: “We compete with PokerStars throughout Europe. They are a formidable competitor. But they would make all of us work much harder and it would expand the market. I would much rather have a small slice of a large pie, than a big piece of a small pie.”
Until now PokerStars entrance to the market did not significantly disturbed competitors’ traffic, but it is still early to draw conclusions. Many consider PokerStars’ New Jersey software to be superior to its rivals; the software used by PokerStars’ New Jersey is very similar to that of its international client, unlike the other sites.
PokersStars’ New Jersey offers different recreational friendly features; it has potential greater credit card acceptance rates and also a more powerful marketing reach.
It may take a while, but PokerStars will probably be the market leader of New Jersey as they are leaders of other markets around the globe.